May 18, 2011
Sen. Larson Continues to Oppose Increased Restrictions on Wisconsin Voters
Madison – Senate Democrats continue fighting against Assembly Bill 7, legislation that would restrict the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of eligible Wisconsin voters.
With a cost of over $7 million, Assembly Bill 7 would put up road blocks for those wishing to cast their vote in our democracy, increase the residency requirement from 10 days to 28 consecutive days, and eliminate straight-party voting.
“I will not stand by silently while the rights of students, the elderly, people with disabilities, the homeless and all of us across the state of Wisconsin are stripped away,” said Sen. Chris Larson (D–Milwaukee). “This bill creates additional barriers intended to restrict the rights of eligible voters from participating in our elections and it needs to be changed.”
Senate Democrats offered dozens of amendments to curb the all-out attack on the rights of eligible voters and reconcile differences between federal and state laws, each of which were tabled by Senate Republicans. Some of the introduced amendments would have ensured that DMV centers offer extended hours prior to an election, provided an appropriation for a public information campaign, preserved the voting rights of college students and people with disabilities, and eliminated the fees for identification cards and the documents needed to obtain identification cards for qualified electors.
“My colleagues and I will continue doing everything we can to offer reasonable improvements to this abomination of a bill that seeks to prevent, rather than encourage, eligible voters from participating in our democracy,” said Sen. Larson.
Debate on this legislation is expected to continue on Wednesday or Thursday, as Senate Democrats objected to a third reading on this voter suppression bill early Wednesday morning.